My father, John Circle, is the handsome little dark-haired boy sitting with his knees up in the bottom left of the frame. This photo was taken in Oak Hill, Ohio in June 1928 when he was six-years-old. Surrounding him is his extended Jones family. The Welsh clan had gathered for the Eisteddfod, an ancient festival tradition which dates back to the 12th century, and celebrates literature, music and performance.
Let’s hear it for the family historian! Every family has one; the person who is the keeper of family records, photos and stories. Well, the family historian’s work is being validated in a recent study. Researchers have learned that knowing family history is a very important contributor to a child’s well-being.
“Family stories provide a sense of identity through time, and help children understand who they are in the world,” say the study’s researchers, Emory psychologists Robyn Fivush and Marshall Duke, and former Emory graduate student Jennifer Bohanek. Their paper, “Do You Know? The Power of Family History in Adolescent Identity and Well-Being” was published in Emory’s online Journal of Family Life.
So bring out those family history tales at the dinner table or in the car on a vacation—and rest assured your child will be better off for knowing them.